Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Natural Disasters...

Pic 1 - Me being sick haha

Pic 2 - All of the "destruction" that Irene caused haha

Pic 3 - Backflip pic from last week

Well, this last week really was crazy! We had two natural disasters!! Haha, unfortunately neither of them were really the full thing, they were just tastes of the real thing. We really didn't have any damage to our car, our apartment, or anything really... Pres. M was right, I think most of the missionaries were a little disappointed, I know that Elder Kennedy and I were! We didn't even lose power!!

It was kind of weird actually, because both of us were sick this past week, I came down with a cold on Thursday, and then the next day, Elder Kennedy got a stomach bug, so we were both out of commission for a few days, including most of the storm. So church was cancelled this last week, and leading up to the storm, all we were doing was going around trying to help people for the storm in any way we could. It was pretty funny actually, I guess people here aren't used to all these natural disasters, and so when they hear that something is going to happen, they kind of go crazy haha Elder Kennedy and I went to the store on Friday to pick up a few things just to make sure we were ready, and one of the things that I wanted to get was some bread, you wouldn't believe that there was not a single loaf of bread in the entire store, the shelves were clean! It was really funny!

Anyways though, things are still going well for us here, I am finding out that being in an area for 4 transfers is not easy... I can't put my finger on exactly what it is, however, it is not impossible. Our finding efforts were kind of put on hold for a bit this last week, because of the sickness and natural disasters and all, but our investigators are doing well! We are meeting with one of our investigator couples tonight, still trying to get them to the VC with us and their neighbors who referred them to us, so I will let you know how that goes. One of our other investigators is still moving a little slow, we found out this week that he does not like to be pushed, and even though we have tried to be sensitive to that, his wife told us that we should try to slow it down a little more. The good news is, we should be starting to meet with them on a more regular basis. I think they are getting settled in to the married life now. As for another lady we're teaching, we had a good meeting with her last week, and the member that went with us told her that he and his wife would go over to her house and do FHE with her! Which will be really good for her, because she doesn't feel like she understands the scriptures when she reads them by herself.

That's about it for this week, like I said, it was pretty crazy, but not much worse than some of the rainstorms we have gotten here lately! Love you guys!!! Have a good week!!

- Elder Schaap

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene

We received this very reassuring email from President and Sister Matsumori yesterday. Much appreciated. Thanks President!

Dear Missionary Families and Loved Ones:

The missionaries in the Washington DC North Mission have reported to me that they are all safe and no one was injured in any way. None of their apartments sustained damaged although a few of their parked vehicles were hit by falling limbs (at least, that’s their claim). Our entire mission lost power last night and by this morning, those serving in the northern half of our mission have power restored. The electrical companies are forecasting that it may take a few days to restore power in the southern-most areas of our mission (Lexington Park, Patuxent, White Plains and Calvert). We will be in continual contact with the missionaries without power to insure they have adequate food and water.

While all of the missionaries stand ready and willing to assist with service projects, I have instructed them to stay in their apartments for a few hours this morning – until the downed power lines have been repaired and trees removed from the roads.

Our missionaries continue to be richly blessed and protected. Frankly, many of them were disappointed that Hurricane Irene didn’t provide as much “adventure” as they had anticipated J.

Thank you so much for your concern and especially for your prayers.

Love and blessings,
President Jim and Sister Vicki Matsumori

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


P.S. I didn't really do a backflip off the wall, but it looks like it huh!

P.P.S. The standing backflip is for real though! (I still got it! Haha!!)

Hello Again!!!

First off, there was an earthquake yesterday! Ha! It was pretty crazy, we were in a building at the time, but nothing too big happened. It seemed like some machine was digging underneath us, and I really didn't know what it was, but we looked out the window, and saw that people out there felt something as well, so I figured it had to be an earthquake! So now I can say that I have felt an earthquake.... even though it was only 5.9 over 100 miles away haha! I did feel it though!

Anyways, this week was actually pretty slow for us, just a lot of things going much differently than we thought they would, or how we planned they would, I won't get in to too much detail, we just had a bunch of stuff fall through that we weren't expecting, but such is life I guess, so we aren't going to let it get us down. We were able to meet with one of our investigator couples again though, and they are doing good, they weren't able to go with us to the VC Sunday night, but we are hoping to get them there with in the next week or so. We also met with another lady we're teaching, and she is still held up on a few of her concerns, so we are trying to work through that.

Unfortunately that is about all of the progress with our investigators I have to report this week, we weren't able to meet with Robert but we will this coming week. And we are going to be focusing our efforts on finding more people to teach this week.

Well, I have to tell you guys about what we did today, we went and took sunrise pictures at the Lincoln Monument (again!) today, and it was sweet, there were probably about 12-15 missionaries there when the sun came up! And later in the day, a bunch of other missionaries showed up, and we were playing frisbee and football on the national mall! So that was sweet, and I have some cool pics for you guys too!

Love you guys! And hope everything is going well!

- Elder Schaap

P.S. We received this email from the Mission Office on 8/23/11:

Dear Missionary Families,

In light of the 5.9 earthquake which occurred this afternoon in the Washington DC area, but nearer Richmond, Virginia, we wish to let each of you know that all missionaries have been accounted for and there has been no injuries, no property damage or anything of any concern to the missionaries or the mission field. Thank you for your concern. All are doing well and can faithfully continue in the work of the Lord in the Washington DC North Mission.

Washington DC North Mission Office

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Transfers - Staying in Bowie with Elder Kennedy!

District Picture

Me with our investigators

Hello again!

Man these weeks seem to go by faster and faster each time! Well it turns out that Elder Kennedy and I will both be staying here in Bowie for another 6 weeks! Ha, which is very unheard of in our mission, in fact I am almost sure that two people staying together for 3 transfers has not happened to anyone else since I have been out! We keep joking that we will have been companions for the whole entire summer, from Memorial Day to Labor Day haha! We are excited though, we have a lot of good things going on right now, and I think Pres. Matsumori is pleased with the progress that we are making with the ward! And our Ward Mission Leader told us that this is the biggest teaching pool the missionaries have had since like 2 or 3 years ago! So everything is going really well!

We were able to meet with a few new people this last week, I don't remember if I told you or not about the couple that was married the same day that Dani and Brad were, but she is a member of about 2 years now I think, and was baptized up near Baltimore. We were able to meet with her husband on Friday, and we had a really good visit with him! Hopefully we will start meeting with him a few times a week, things have just been hectic with them getting married and moving and stuff like that. Now things are starting to settle down though.

We went over to one of our investigator couple's home again yesterday, and it turns out that the wife is actually telling people about our church, and doing missionary work herself! Everybody in her church keeps asking her where she was the other week, and she has no problem telling them that she went to the Mormon church! Which is awesome, and although she wasn't at our church this last week, we aren't worried about it, because we know that she will be back, and we will continue to meet with her, there is a "Why I Believe" fireside this Sunday, hopefully they will be able to go to that, I think it would be great for them.

Good to hear from you guys! The Tour of Utah sounds fun! I can't believe that Connor Richards is home already! Crazy! Austin gets home in 6 weeks! Time is going so fast! Well, you guys are the best! I love you and hope you have an amazing week!!

--Elder Schaap

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New Move-In Packets Work


Wow... another week gone by, things are going super good for us! Unfortunately I think my time here in Bowie is getting short :( Everything is going really well though.

I had a sweet experience last week. So in the Bowie ward we go out on splits with the members 3 times a week, which is pretty unheard of in our mission, most wards are lucky to have splits once a week, but anyways, so in order for that to happen we kind of have to have a lot of things to do, so the Elder's Quorum came up with a sweet idea for when we don't have appointments or people to check on, they have what are called New Move-In Packets which is basically information about the area, kind of giving us a good way to break the ice. Well before last week I really hadn't had any success with them, and they have been doing these packets for about a year now, and they were considering not doing them any more because it just wasn't bearing any fruit. But last Wednesday, I was out with the Elder's Quorum President of all people, and the first person we talked to invited us right in and told us that he had been looking for a church, he has had a few family problems over the past few years and thinks that he needs to get back into it! He told us that he wouldn't be able to make it to church this last Sunday, but he will be for sure this next Sunday!

Oh, and we had the wife of one of our investigator couples at church this past Sunday, and the best part about it was that she went up and bore her testimony!!! It was so awesome, ever since then, when we have been at members' homes they keep asking us about her and saying "That was awesome!" So we are finally starting to get somewhere! Hopefully we will be able to go to the visitor's center with them sometime before I leave!

Well, that's about all I got for ya this week, but it sounds like you guys had a fun filled week! That's always good to hear! I love you guys! And I will talk to you next week!!! LOVE YOU!!

- Elder Schaap

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Great Teaching Moments


Good to hear from you guys! Things are going good for us! We had kind of a cool experience this last week, so one of the investigators that Elder Kennedy had worked with in his previous area (White Oak) actually moved to our area! He apparently has worked with the missionaries a couple different times over the past few years, he is a very knowledgeable guy that likes to talk haha we met with him yesterday for about 30 minutes, and I think Elder Kennedy and I got about 5 sentences in the whole time! So we are going to have to work on that a little bit, but he is a cool guy, and Elder Kennedy was very excited when he got the phone call.

We also had the chance to help a part member family in the ward move (to a place that is still in the ward) but they actually got married on the same day Dani and Brad did, and things have been kind of stressful for them, but hopefully now that they are moved, everything will settle down, and we will be able to start working with them more often!

Another cool experience we had this past week, we went over to check on a less-active, part-member family and we asked him what his feelings were toward the church, and he told us that he knows that it is something that he should be doing, and also that he should be getting his kids involved as well! So we have an appointment with them tonight, hopefully they will be coming to church this Sunday!

That's about all I got for ya this week though, I hope everything is going well for you guys! Oh, and by the way, you think the weather is rough over there haha just wait until you come out here next Summer!!! haha you think 50-60% humidity is bad?? Love you guys!!!!

- Elder Schaap

Pic - haha Here is what the thermometer said when we got in our car one time!